Pediatricians want to childproof e-cig refills

A group of pediatricians and other health officials are calling for childproof packaging on liquid nicotine containers used to refill electronic cigarettes.

They say liquid nicotine is highly toxic if swallowed, and can be deadly to small children.

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"Alarmingly, these products are often sold in containers without any child-proofing," the pediatricians wrote in a letter to Sen. Bill NelsonBill NelsonFCC box plan raises alarms among House Judiciary leaders Three more Republican senators to meet with Supreme Court nominee This week: Congress on track to miss Puerto Rico deadline MORE (D-Fla.), who introduced the Child Nicotine Poisoning Prevention Act last month.

"Given that liquid nicotine may also be absorbed quickly through the skin as well as ingested, children are in extreme danger of being poisoned without simple safeguards to ensure that these liquids stay sealed in their containers," they added.

The pediatricians said they support Nelson's bill, which would allow the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) to issue new childproof requirements for liquid nicotine containers.

The legislation comes in response to a rising number of children who are getting sick from swallowing liquid nicotine. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people reported 215 cases of e-cigarette poisoning in February, compared to just one call each month in 2010.

Calling it an "urgent public health danger," the pediatricians said there is enough poison in one bottle of liquid nicotine to kill four toddlers.

"With the recent spike in calls to poison control centers related to e-cigarette exposure, pediatricians recognize an urgent need to protect young people from these dangerous, highly-concentrated products," the pediatricians wrote.